Google+ Badge

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Marina Beach Chennai

The city of Madras (Chennai) was founded by Francis Day of British East India Company on a three square mile strip of land, on 22nd July 1639. Immediately afterwards his boss Andrew Cogan laid foundation of Fort St George and established seat of the Company’s Agency in the Fort on 24th September 1641. Madras became the capital of Madras Presidency controlling whole of south India except a few princely states.Madras enjoyed the status of Capital ever since.Madras was renamed as Chennai in 1996.The first conventional lighthouse was the oil wick lamp placed on the roof of the officer’s Mess cum Exchange building in 1796. The building is now known as Fort Museum.
The present modern Lighthouse was built in 1976 at Marina Beach and Electrical Lighthouse equipment manufactured by BBT, Paris was installed on it which started functioning with effect from 10th January 1977.
Present Light House at Marina Beach
Vivekananda House
Vivekananda House on the Marina Beach, Chennai, built 158 years back, has a long and interesting history. It was meant to store ice and hence it got its popular name, the Ice House. In 1842 Mr. Frederic Tudor, the 'Ice King', built a house in Chennai to keep ice under proper insulation so that it could be stored for months together. Tudor maintained his business in Chennai from 1842 upto around 1880. After the invention of making ice by 'steam process' in India, his business collapsed He sold Ice House to Mr.Biligiri Iyengar, a prosperous advocate of the Madras High Court. He remodeled the house adding circular verandahs and provided it with many windows to make it fit as residential quarters. Also he named the house 'Castle Kernan,' as a tribute to his friend, the famous Justice Kernan of the Madras High Court.  this landmark was re-christened Vivekananda House in 1963  in remembrance of Swami Vivekananda's brief sojourn and stay here for over a year in 1897 when he delivered seven historic lectures at Chennai.
Statue of Vivekananda - The Wandering Monk
Lady Mounted Police at Marina Beach
Freshly made corn soup: For the benefit of morning walkers
Walkers at Marina Beach (wife Shobha & friends)
Breakfast at Idli Vilas on Dr.Radhakrishnan Salai. The items on the banana leaf are Guntur Idli with a variety of chutneys. This was followed by crisp & hot vadas made from freshly made batter.
Shobha sampling the mini coffee served in steel davara tumbler
The art of Vada making


46 comments:

  1. i think i missed those "Guntur Idlis" last time when i was there...i will try that next time for sure...thanks for sharing this colorful post about chennai Sir.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was there at Anna Salai last week. It was afternoon and people adviced not to go to the beach! Looks like you had a great breakfast. Yummy vada.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Kusum: Yes the beach is deserted in the afternoons and hence not safe unless you are in a group.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice post. Yet to visit Marina.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  5. The iced cake Vivekanada building is amazing. Your breakfast looks interesting,I love to see different(for me)foods,even better to taste them!

    Happy weekend!
    Ruby

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely pictures of swami Vivekananda and breakfast with friends!

    I have heard of this unique restaurant 'Annalakshmi' in Chennai where they don't give you a bill but you pay what you feel like! The waiters who come there are doctors and lawyers who deem it as a service.Their decor seems to be very authentic. If you or any friends know about this, please tell us of your experience..
    Thanks.
    ERR

    http://www.annalakshmi.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  7. You put so many fascinating things in one post! Interesting history on the lighthouse and I love that ice house. Selling corn in the street is new to me...

    Very interesting! When you say the beach is not safe, is that because others would do you harm?

    Re your question on The Villages...the store is a Hallmark Card Store which sells greeting cards and little trinkets.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great and interesting post, as always.
    What a beautiful building the Vivekananda House is.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend.
    Mette

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Lowell:Afternoons are not safe because of dangers of sexual molestation,robbery,etc.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ERR: Yes I have been to Annalakshmi on Mount Road,Chennai as well as in Coimbatore,Singapore & Kuala Lumpur.Good ambiance and good food. I don't know if the practice of "pay what you like" still exists.And yes people who wait & serve are professionals from various walks of life:)It is an unique experience.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ah! Marina - many memories. It is my fantasy to do a thenga/manga/pattani/sundal stand with the kids during one of our days on the beach here. Only where I live, the beach is a 5 hr drive :(

    Lovely pics. Guntur Idli ?Hmm...sounds interesting and going by the dark color, I'm guessing it is added spice that gives it the name ?

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Mom with a dot: Yes.It is smeared with chilli powder & oil !

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great story, I love Madras although I have never been there, their Madras make is a curry, hot and spicy, yum.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very interesting post and wonderful shots.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great trip. Thanks for the history of the house.

    ReplyDelete
  16. during my south india tour in january this year, boarded train from chennai while going back but did not get time to sight see...maybe next time im gonna hit marina beach!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  17. Awww Marina beach...cant forget the famous thenga,manga,pattani sundal..!!interesting details on LightHouse,awesome Vivekananda House,yummy breakfast ,asathal SR..super..:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. A shrine near my house had ice house,too. But we can't see polices on horses. I heard ice was precious thing in the old days.
    The food like a doughnut tempts me. Thank you for sharing.
    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  19. About 20 minutes from my home is a huge Indian community that I love to frequent for food and jewelry :))) Guess what Ram?! Today, I'm doing just that!! I'm in the mood for some tikka masala, chutney, garlic naan, and yummy samosa!!! Can't wait :)))

    ReplyDelete
  20. My brother Ram,
    Your pictures are so clear and rich that sometimes I feel I am right in it (smile). Great shots and yes, great story line. I personally learn so much from you my friend. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Loved the post and would love to get the first wada which ought to have been very crispy.

    ReplyDelete
  22. impressive post with nice cliks...
    nowadays, can't go to beach often in the fear of tsunami & rain showers..!
    Tasty Appetite

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love fried foods! Yummy! Your wife looks very beautiful, Ram. Glad you enjoyed your tour.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I would absolutely love to eat those idli's and vada's!! To eat on the Banana leaves is just so fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Greetings, Ram...re you question on The Villages: I believe that Fifi is a toy poodle. Not sure, though.

    And re your answer to my question here: The beach sounds like a scary place!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Such an interestung peek inro indian life! I know a bit about Vivekanada, as i'm practising Yoga. Such a fierce and interesting character. Hope your sunday is sunny and lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Namaste.....
    Vivekananda House is beautiful, what an attractive building.

    Vada looks like donut.

    thanks for sharing as always

    ReplyDelete
  28. wow those are beautiful pictures, and the lady police officers look Fit as do the horses .. :)

    all that food has made me hungry too now :)

    had visited chennai in 1992 that is a long long time back :)

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
  29. Guntur idlis..shall remember...Moving over there Ramakrishnan...very soon:)) hence busy..

    ReplyDelete
  30. What an amazing assortment of photos! Thank you for such a delightful tour!

    ReplyDelete
  31. A perfect combo of nice travel and food in Chennai! Very refreshing post:)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great set of shots. Love the banana tree leaves used as plates.

    ReplyDelete
  33. That must have been a big oil-wick lamp. I'm curious to see what it looks like. I'm going to try doing a search. That new lighthouse too does look different.
    I will have to try out those Guntur idlis sometime. Is that coated with the chilli-lentil podi or is it just chilli powder?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Interesting post and beautiful pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Your pictures are very beautiful and some of them are amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yum! there's a place in Bangalore that serves those button idlis (with this idli podi on them ) as appetizers. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love Marina beach! That ice house is impressive, and those idlis and vadas are making my mouth water! :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Very nice post. It is a best weekend places. Thanks for sharing such an amazing experience and wonderful pictures. I loved reading this blog. Make your trip in Vivegam Travels in advance to enjoy your trip

    ReplyDelete
  39. want to spend your weekend in Budget resort with beautiful sea view room? VGP Resort is the best choice to get the sea view room and sunrise, one the best resorts in ecr road

    ReplyDelete